VC Daily: an Indian start-up Ed-Tech accelerates its expansion in the United States with summer offers

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Good day. Indian educational technology start-up Think & Learn Pvt Ltd., which does business as Byju, is gaining momentum on its aggressive development plans in the United States after a summer full of acquisitions.

The Bangalore-based company sees India and the United States as its two main markets, where it targets children in the K-12 age group. The startup primarily uses a so-called freemium model – a pricing system that starts with a free product that includes paid features – and it’s organized around three major vertical axes: schools, test prep, and scaling for professionals.

Last week, Byju agreed to buy the Los Altos, Calif., Based coding platform Neuron Fuel Inc., which does business as Tynker, for an undisclosed amount. The deal follows the acquisition of the reading platform Epic Creations Inc. based in Redwood City, Calif., For $ 500 million in July.

The summer deals bring Byju closer to its goal of investing $ 1 billion in the US electronics technology market, said co-founder and CEO Byju Raveendran. Tynker and Epic have collectively been used by 110 million children around the world and bolster Byju’s offering for its core age group.

The electronics tech industry has been in tears since the start of the pandemic as children started learning online when schools were fully or partially closed. Globally, industry startups ripped $ 7.82 billion from investors in the first eight months of the year, surpassing the $ 6.07 billion they raised in the same period. period of 2020, according to CB Insights. Byju’s is the world’s most valued ed-tech startup with $ 16.5 billion, according to CB Insights.

Byju’s had around 45 million students on its platform before gaining around 55 million more last year thanks to the tailwind of the pandemic, said co-founder and board member Divya Gokulnath, who is also the wife of Mr. Raveendran. Most of Byju users are located in India.

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Top news

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan at the company’s San Jose, Calif., Office in 2019. PHOTO: JASON HENRY FOR WALL STREET JOURNAL

Zoom in. A panel led by the Department of Justice is investigating Zoom Video Communications Inc.’s deal to buy a US customer service software company, citing potential national security risks posed by the US video conferencing giant’s ties to China, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The department said the interagency committee – known as Team Telecom – was to consider a license application stemming from the San Jose, Calif.,-Based company’s nearly $ 15 billion deal to buy Five9 Inc. . the national security or law enforcement interests “of the United States, according to a letter posted on the Federal Communications Commission website. The department said there could be a risk associated with” foreign relations and ownership “associated with the request.

In the letter dated last month, the Justice Department asked the FCC to postpone action on the request until Team Telecom has completed its review, putting Zoom’s deal for Five9 on hold.

$ 20 billion +

Approximate value of the cash and stock offering of US sports betting operator Draftkings Inc. for global gambling company Entain PLC. (WSJ)

SEC Gensler Doesn’t See Cryptocurrencies To Last Long

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said on Tuesday that he did not see much long-term viability for cryptocurrencies, stressing the importance of protecting investors in the market and putting it under scrutiny. regulatory oversight, reports the WSJ. Mr. Gensler compared the thousands of cryptocurrencies in existence to the so-called savage banking era that took hold in the United States from 1837 to 1863 in the absence of federal banking regulation. Before President Abraham Lincoln established the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, banks issued their own currencies, which they sometimes refused to redeem for their purported value in gold or silver. “I don’t think there is long-term viability for five or six thousand forms of private money,” Gensler said at a virtual event hosted by The Washington Post. “In the meantime, I think it’s worth having an investor protection regime around this.”

Apple is working on iPhone features to help detect depression and cognitive decline

Apple Inc. is working on technology to help diagnose depression and cognitive decline, targeting tools that could extend the reach of its burgeoning health portfolio, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by the Wall. Street Journal. Using a dataset of sensors that include mobility, physical activity, sleep patterns, typing behavior and more, the researchers hope to be able to extract the digital signals associated with the target conditions so that algorithms can be created. to reliably detect them, people said. Apple is hoping this would become the basis for unique features for its devices, according to people and documents. The efforts stem from research partnerships Apple announced with the University of California, Los Angeles, which studies stress, anxiety, and depression, and pharmaceutical company Biogen Inc., which studies mild cognitive impairment.

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Industry News

Funds

Growing venture capitalist Section Partners has raised $ 245 million in two new funds. Section Capital IV LP and a parallel co-investment fund closed with commitments of $ 213 million, exceeding the fundraising target of $ 150 million. Section Ventures LP is a new $ 32 million strategy that complements Fund IV’s direct equity investment activity. Section Partners has offices in Palo Alto, California and New York.

Venture and growth firm Blue Bear Capital closed its second fund at its fixed cap of $ 150 million to continue to focus on digital technologies impacting wind, solar, power grid, EV infrastructure , transport and energy-intensive industries. Investors in the new fund include Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, ZOMA Capital and the McKnight Foundation, as well as private equity and energy companies.

People

Clear Ventures has appointed Vijay Reddy as a partner. He was previously a partner at Intel Capital. Clear Ventures, based in Palo Alto, Calif., Manages $ 330 million in assets.

Fintech investor QED Investors has promoted Laura Bock as a partner. She joined the Alexandria, Va.-Based firm of management consultant Oliver Wyman in 2018. QED Investors recently closed $ 1.05 billion in commitments in its latest start-up fund and a new growth fund.

Facet Wealth, a provider of personal financial planning services, has appointed Shruti Joshi as Chief Operating Officer. She previously worked at Verizon and Altman Vilandrie & Co., and founded Compell’d. Baltimore-based Facet Wealth has raised $ 79 million in funding from Warburg Pincus, Slow Ventures and others.

Exits

The Supply Chain Technology Provider Project44 acquired Convey, an Austin-based last mile delivery company, for $ 255 million. The acquisition is the third of the year for project44 and the most important to

Dated. Project44’s technology gives businesses visibility into how their shipments move through supply chains. Founded in 2013, Convey says its delivery management technology is used by retailers, including Home Depot Inc.

Influencer marketing platform CreatorIQ has acquired influencer marketing analytics provider Tribe Dynamics for an undisclosed amount. Earlier this month, Los Angeles-based CreatorIQ announced a $ 40 million fundraising round from TVC Capital, Kayne Partners Fund, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, Affinity Group, Unilever Ventures and Silver Lake Waterman.

Third-party privacy, security and risk technology platform OneTrust has agreed to purchase Tugboat Logic Inc., which automates information security assurance and audit preparation for security executives. The terms were not disclosed. Based in Atlanta and London, OneTrust has raised a total of $ 920 million in funding from investors such as Insight Partners, Coatue Management, TCV and SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Tugboat Logic backers include Inovia Capital and Westwave Capital.

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New money

Sorare, a Paris-based fantasy football platform, has raised $ 680 million in Series B funding led by Softbank, giving the company a valuation of $ 4.3 billion. New investors, including Atomico, Bessemer Ventures, D1 Capital Partners, Eurazeo and IVP, also contributed to the funding round, as well as existing backers Benchmark, Accel and Headline. Marcelo Claure, Managing Director of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group, will join Sorare’s Board of Directors.

Mirakl, a Paris and Boston-based enterprise marketplace SaaS platform, secured $ 555 million in Series E funding, which more than doubled the company’s valuation to over 3.5 billion dollars since his Series D round of $ 300 million last September. Silver Lake led the new round, which included participation from 83North, Elaia Partners, Felix Capital and Permira.

Genesis Digital Assets, a bitcoin mining company, has made an investment of $ 431 million. Paradigm led the round, with co-founder and managing partner Matt Huang joining the company’s board of directors.

MarketFinance Ltd., a London-based corporate lender, has taken down £ 280million ($ 382.5million) as part of a debt and equity cycle. Investors, including Intesa Sanpaolo, provided the debt portion, with the equity financing led by Black River Ventures.

Blockdaemon, a blockchain infrastructure platform based in Los Angeles and Ireland, completed a $ 155 million Series B round of funding for a valuation of $ 1.25 billion. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the funding, which included Sapphire Ventures, Boldstart Ventures, Greenspring Associates, Borderless Capital, CoinFund, Lerer Hippeau and others.

TrueLayer Ltd., a global payments network, has secured a $ 130 million investment from Tiger Global Management and Stripe.

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

September 22, 2021 10:03 am ET (2:03 pm GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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